Sunday, April 5, 2009

NM in the News: BBC

Always nice when we get good coverage outside of New Mexico, but it was especially cool that the folks at the BBC visited us here to see what's going on:

Film-makers desert Hollywood

By Peter Bowes
BBC News in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Los Angeles, the self-proclaimed movie capital of the world, is facing its biggest crisis in the history of film-making.

Hollywood is being snubbed by its own creative talent. There is something of a stampede by the entertainment industry to get out of town.

Long before the global economic downturn kicked in, film-makers were upping sticks and leaving Los Angeles for more cost-effective locations to shoot their movies.
Canada was one of the first countries to benefit from Hollywood's so-called runaway productions, but now the competition is closer to home.

More than 40 US states are offering film-makers tantalising financial incentives, such as rebates and tax-free loans, to make the next blockbuster in their backyard...

...One of the states benefiting from California's loss is New Mexico. With a similar climate to California - plenty of sunny days with wall-to-wall blue skies - it is a perfect place to make movies.

The state enjoys many of the characteristics that attracted the pioneers to Hollywood, decades ago.

"In the old days people used to come here for westerns, if they had a cowboy movie," says Michael Dellheim, a location manager who has worked in the state for 23 years.
Now, with a state-of-the art film-making facility, Albuquerque Studios, the state is well-equipped to make movies of any genre.

"We do it all now - episodic television with cops chasing the bad guys down urban city streets," explains Mr Dellheim.

Star power
He is currently scouting the state for a location that resembles a beach in the San Francisco Bay.

It is for scene for Denzel's Washington's latest movie, The Book of Eli, which is currently filming in New Mexico.

It is a post-apocalyptic thriller in which the Oscar-winner stars as a lone warrior named Eli, who battles to save the future of humanity.

Much of the movie is being filmed in a desolate desert location on the outskirts of Albuquerque - which makes a perfect setting - but the production company chose the venue because it made financial sense...
More at "Film-makers desert Hollywood"

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